flyingearly wrote:The big test will be my wife, who I have yet to take up - I really do need to do my best to give her an enjoyable flight so she buys into the idea that buying our own aircraft is a good idea... any tips?
There are two really, really important points here.
1. Don't run the risk of anything even remotely concerning happen on the first few flights or you'll put her off for ever. Pick your day carefully, no iffy weather. Remember that if she turns against the idea then she may not want you to even take the children in future, let alone her.
2. Make it a trip worth going on such that it's an enjoyable day out in it's own right, one which isn't all
about the flying. Many people interpret the first point above, which is really rather obvious, to mean that your first/early trips should be short hops to friendly little airfields that you're familiar with. The trouble is, if you descend on one of the usual watering holes on a Saturday morning with her in tow then what you're really showing her is that flying is about middle-aged men eating cooked breakfasts and geeking out over navigation software. Unless she's an unusual sort, this isn't normally much of a sell. A great idea is to fly to a seaside airfield then leave the airfield (shock, horror) and go for a nice long walk, perhaps with a picnic.
Much of the 'go somewhere you know well' mentality is rooted in the fact that back in the day if you planned a mission to somewhere you'd never been before then, with only dead reckoning and perhaps some radio navigation, there was no guarantee you'd actually be able to find the airfield without some considerable faffing, especially if the destination was on the smaller and less conspicuous end of the scale. New and perhaps nervous passengers are understandably averse to aerial faffing, especially if the words 'uncertain of position' are muttered. These days, with GPS ubiquitous, the matter of finding your destination is trivial so go somewhere worth going to.
Unless she's really into flying for it's own sake, ultimately you need to show her that the aeroplane is a tool for accessing nice days out and weekends away. You start with flight to the seaside for a walk/picnic or whatever, then you build up to perhaps a night away together in a nice city (Cambridge? York?), then pretty soon you're doing a weekend in Jersey or something like that. All stuff that gets her thinking "this is damn cool...." She isn't going to think that yet another cooked breakfast in a portakabin clubhouse is cool.
Covid is restricting much of this, but you can still do a walk with a picnic.
Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.